Magic Johnson Turned Down Warriors, Pistons, Knicks

Magic Johnson passed on front office positions with three teams before becoming president of basketball operations for the Lakers, he said this morning on ESPN’s First Take (Twitter link).

The Hall of Famer claimed the Warriors, Pistons and Knicks all made offers that he turned down because he had a sense of loyalty to the Lakers.

“My good friends Peter and Joe Lacob bought the Golden State Warriors. They came to me. ‘I want you to be an owner, be a partner with us.’ I said no, I’m a Laker,” Johnson recalled. “My friend bought the Detroit Pistons, Tom Gores, and a Michigan State guy. ‘Come on home. It’ll be a great story.’ I can’t; I’m a Laker. I could have owned other teams.”

The panel also brought up the Knicks, who reportedly expressed interest in Johnson.

The Lakers hired Johnson to serve as team president in February after a front office purge that resulted in the dismissal of executive Jim Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak.

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